Thursday, August 10, 2006

Model School Program Gains Attention

"A collaboration [in Pennsylvania] among Neumann College, Ellyn Institute, and the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District (the NEW-S project) is attracting national attention. For a full year, the three institutions have been working together to meet the needs of special education students, especially those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in two public schools. Recently, members of the NEW-S team presented their work at the 2006 National Autism Conference in State College.

The resulting collaboration brought public, private and higher education together in a project that provides not just abstract consultation and advice, but daily on-site classroom support for ASD students at The Kids Place (the W-S district-wide kindergarten center) and Swarthmore Rutledge School. A NEW-S team member is present every day of the school week in different classes to observe students, create learning strategies, and serve as a resource for school district personnel, who provide language and speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and social skills training in addition to the regular elementary curriculum.
Groups at both schools hold regular meetings to implement adjustments to individualized educational plans and review progress toward identified goals.Feil calls NEW-S "a landmark program" because of the scope of services (20 children with special needs at the two schools), the significant amount of in-service training provided for faculty and staff during the summer of 2005, and the daily presence of a team member in the schools."
Full article here.

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